December 1st, 2018 Ian and I completed our first 50 mile trail race, The McDowell Mountain Frenzy in the Arizona dessert. It is a type of event that certainly isn’t for everyone. Most reactions we got when we mentioned doing it, was about the “why”. A natural question, as I am certain the motivation varies greatly. Here is some reasons that fueled our drive in training and on race day.
Check out 50 Miles: The How here.
- To challenge ourselves- A phrase I heard a lot was “just to say that you did it” and I would whole heartedly disagree. This the the one reason we did not do it, just to say that we did. Instead, it was about could we do it how we wanted to within our lives. Can two 35 year old full time working parents of a 4 and 6 year old find the time and balance training for such an event? Can we find a way to be prepared enough to enjoy the training process and the race day? The answer was yes.
- To inspire our kids- The kids are fortunate in their short lives to have seen some important people to them do some incredible things. Our goal is giving them the life fundamental that almost nothing is impossible if you prepare well enough and you wanted it bad enough. At this point the idea of running or biking 50-100 miles is something that they can mentally grasp as they have seen it accomplished. Having seen the hard work we put in workouts at home, they have seen a glimpse of how to get there. The parent of one of Noah’s friends messaged me that he was telling them all about his parents going off to run 50 miles and she commented she could tell he was very proud. THIS is what it is all about.
- To add another level to our relationship- With the time commitment in our training, we worked to do all of our long training together. It would have consumed our weekends if we did the long runs separately at different times or days. Running up to 30 miles at a time during a long training run and the entire 50 miles together lets you learn things about each other that you otherwise would never know. Spend that kind of time together and you come out having a better understanding of each other. The highs and the lows are experienced together and the sense of accomplishment you come away with is profound.
To do something you previously thought impossible- In the same way the kids have been exposed to pushing physical and mental boundaries, so have we. In a previous part of my life running 50 miles wouldn’t have been something I could have imagined doing. We now thrive on the idea of doing an event that forces you to stretch yourself past those boundaries and grow as an athlete and person. What you learn about yourself in the process is truly incredible and the experience will continue to shape your future well past race day.